An expert in cyberterrorism gave the Senate Intelligence Committee some morbid advice during his testimony today about Russia’s history in meddling with international politics.
Clinton Watts, a consultant and researcher for the George Washington Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, took questions from Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) on Thursday about the links between Russian oligarchs, the Russian government, and organized crime. Watts’ recommendation was that the committee should track the flow of Russian money towards organizations that push pro-Kremlin propaganda and other bits of disinformation.
“You can hack stuff and be covert, but you can’t influence and be covert,” Watts said. “You have to ultimately show your hand. And that’s why we have been able to discover it online.”
Things turned more ominous from there, though, as Watts’ next suggestion for the room was to “follow the trail of dead Russians.” Watts specifically referenced reports about how Russian officials in multiple countries have dropped dead recently, some under circumstances that look like assassinations.
There’s been more dead Russians in the past three months that are tied to this investigation who have assets in banks all over the world. They are dropping dead, even in western countries…These are all huge openings to understand how they are funded by the Russian government. I don’t have the capability to do that from where I sit, but I think that’s a huge angle.
Watch above, via C-SPAN 3.
[image via screengrab]
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